Imagine If It Were Apple

John Brownlee, writing for Cult of Mac:

Once logged, Carrier IQ then sends all of this data to its own servers. That’s incredible. One privately held company that almost no one has ever heard of has the complete logs of every email, phone call, web search and text message ever sent or received by millions of Android, Blackberry and Nokia users.

I don’t think that’s an accurate description of what we know at this point. This stuff gets logged on the device. And Carrier IQ claims that their portal software gives “customers” (a.k.a. phone carriers) the ability to look at this stuff. But I don’t think anyone has shown what gets phoned home.

Even worse? There’s no way to opt out of the Carrier IQ “service.” On Android phones, your only choice is to root your phone and replace the operating system with one without the software pre-installed.

This is absolutely insane. Apple was practically crucified over LocationGate, which was just a cache of GPS locations stored on user’s home machines. Meanwhile, almost every Android phone out there is reading people’s emails and logging their passwords, while no one bats an eye.

Apple’s location brouhaha wasn’t even about GPS data — it was only a cache of cell tower locations. The problem isn’t that the news media aren’t sensationalizing this Carrier IQ story. The problem is that they would if it involved Apple.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011